meetings before the big showdown next week before the full City Council.
Treviño and Nirenberg have already signed off on the
council members concerned with access
and are we selling the farm?
During a meeting that lasted nearly four hours, City Council members got a chance to ask questions of city officials, architects, lawyers, and others involved in the plan, that seemed to touch on nearly every conceivable aspect of the plan—from the relocation of the Cenotaph to Fiesta parade routes.
But the topic that drew the most discussion was access to the plaza. Particularly, some council members questioned whether the Alamo grounds would remain truly an open civic space, as the plans architects and supporters, including District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño and Mayor Ron Nirenberg, have characterized it.
“What we’re providing with this plan is a porous space, not an open space,” District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry said. “An open space is free flow.”
Treviño and Nirenberg have argued that the plan (shown above) does provide an open civic space. During museum hours, roughly 9 a.m.-6 p.m., all visitors would be able to enter the plaza grounds, but they would have to enter through a main entrance roughly where the Crockett building is located, directly across from the iconic facade. Two additional entrances would open up near the Menger and Emily Morgan hotels during peak hours and weekends.
During non-museum hours, the Alamo grounds would open up via six entrances that would be open 24 hours a day.
But that explanation didn’t sit well with some Council members, who are not convinced that any form of barrier is inappropriate for what is not an open space.
“OK, thank you. That clarifies what I was after, which … I’m not wild about that idea,” District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said after Treviño explained how accessibility would work.
District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval shared some of Gonzales’ concerns.
“Is there going to be a fence anywhere around this structure?” Sandoval asked Treviño.
“There’s going to be, as part of the design, some railing and other elements that will help direct people to the sight,” Treviño said.
Sandoval said later, “I believe we also want this (Alamo) plaza to better serve the residents of San Antonio and they don’t need to be guided to the formal entry point … I’m not convinced yet that we need the fences around it.”
go into lease agreement, perry's concern
About 20 minutes after the City Council session ended, a joint meeting of the Historic and Design Review Commission and the Planning Commission was held